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Kings Pulse: What has changed since the beginning of last year?

People are expecting the Kings to be better this year, but where can that notable improvement come from?

The Sacramento Kings need to make significant improvement from last year's performance in the upcoming 2021-22 season. Tim Maxwell joins the show to talk about where that improvement could come from.

To start, I often hear people talk about how much better the team was after acquiring Delon Wright, Terence Davis II, and Maurice Harkless around the deadline. While there was an improvement, I mention some numbers to show that people may be romanticizing just how much better the Kings truly were.

Going from a center rotation of Richaun Holmes and Hassan Whiteside to Holmes, Alex Len, Tristan Thompson, and Damian Jones does feel significant. Even more so when you consider that the Kings were horrific at protecting the rim and rebounding last season. We dive into how much of an impact we think this improved center depth will have.

Davion Mitchell is a common point of expected improvement, but is it reasonable to have hefty expectations for a rookie point guard in the NBA? How rare is it for a rookie guard to have a positive on-court impact? Maybe his intangibles make a big difference?

Most teams that the Kings are rubbing shoulders with (Memphis, New Orleans, Minnesota) have reason to expect internal growth from the youth on their roster. It's well documented that Sacramento isn't exactly as young as some might think, so where can the Kings find some internal improvements? Tyrese Haliburton, and who else?

I'm also adding one non-basketball-related question to the end of each podcast - which I really really need a good segment name for, please help - and with Tim on it had to be a food take. What is the best pizza topping?

Don't be boring and pick pepperoni, we all know that's the right answer. Give me a different one, and please don't say pineapple.

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 28, 2021 9:31 am

I feel Mitchell is the only real possible difference maker that has been added to this team. All of the top 6 minute eaters from the last year are still going to get their lion’s share. TT replaces Whiteside and Harkless replaces GR3. Meh?

Now, if Mitchell can come out and be a real change and crack the nightly rotation maybe we see an additional win or two, but that is all. I look at Mitchell this way, my hope is he can become a Marcus Smart type of player, like a true POA defender that will take on the opposing team’s best/hottest guard and hold them under their nightly averages. So to my point, if Mitchell were to clone the guard skills of Smart would that make much of a difference in the W/L column?

To put it simply, remove Mitchell and replace him with Smart is best case scenario, IMO. Are the Kings that much better?

As to pizza, it all depends on the crust, and all good crust is even better with roasted garlic.

andy_sims
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September 28, 2021 9:35 am

I get what you’re saying in regard to the post-trade numbers on defense still not necessarily being good, but barring bringing in an elite defender, what you need is to get better. I’d say that the current roster is very likely to be better, with sincere hopes that they can get to at least the middle of the pack. The much-maligned additions at center should have a positive effect, even if nothing else changes. If guys like Mitchell and King continue to be absolute defensive dogs in practice, I do think that it will rub off.

As for toppings, I like basil a lot, but as Adamsite said, roasted garlic is a winner every single time.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 28, 2021 9:42 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I do think King could be a wild card. If he does indeed bring the defense and can hit from 3, I could see him surplanting Harkless on the wing, but the Kings would also likely need to convert his contract from a 2-way or a regular rostered player by that point.

I will find it interesting who dresses on a nightly basis for the Kings. With only 13 allowed (covid rules right?), who are we going to be seeing in a suit and not in Stockton?

andy_sims
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September 28, 2021 11:20 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I fully expect Walton to lean hard on Harkless, at the expense of King’s development. I do like Moe’s game, but my feeling is that if a veteran isn’t going to be the kind of difference-maker to get you over the hump, then develop the protege.

There’s not exactly a log jam at small forward, and if Dingus can’t find 20-25 minutes per game for Lou, well, I guess that’s just one more shrimp on Walton’s barbie of coaching malpractice.

murraytant
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September 28, 2021 6:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Not at all sure of King- can he become Dillon Brooks part 2?

Kosta
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September 28, 2021 10:16 am

“I’m also adding one non-basketball-related question to the end of each podcast – which I really really need a good segment name for, please help…”

How about: “And now it’s time for our weekly ‘one non-basketball-related question'”?

If not, maybe: “overtime”?

What is the best pizza topping?

Mushrooms + black olives. And oregano.

-Although I’m interested in Licorice Pizza now, for some reason.

For anyone who prefers white sauce: why?

Last edited 16 days ago by Kosta
Kosta
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September 28, 2021 10:56 am
Reply to  Brenden

Ok, how about a compromise: “Olivetime!”

Bbmuteman
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September 28, 2021 7:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

White sauce adds a nice creamy savoriness that usually pairs well with chicken.

Kosta
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September 28, 2021 7:27 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Ah, that’s probably why I wouldn’t understand. I am vegetablearian. That makes sense, though. Enjoy!

Bbmuteman
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September 28, 2021 9:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Veggie pizzas are very delicious too. Can’t go wrong with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, bell peppers, and olives.

Bbmuteman
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September 28, 2021 5:44 pm

Anchovies. For reals. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I recommend the everything pizza at Zelda’s.

murraytant
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September 28, 2021 6:03 pm

this year vs. last year:
PG- better this year (Mitchell)
SG- better this year (TD)
SF- same, maybe slightly better. (King over GR3)
PF-slightly worse- Metu vs. Belly
C- much better- Whiteside- come on?

Top 9- Better- Mitchell + TT/Len

Kosta
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September 28, 2021 7:29 pm
Reply to  murraytant

I want to see King get some minutes!

Hamlet1989
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September 29, 2021 12:15 pm

I agree with all points made regarding Mitchell except that I don’t like Tyrese as a rookie comp. Although we saw the ceiling come off for Ty last season, he’s not a full-grown NBA body like Mitchell. Maybe someone like Desmond Bane?

LLcoolRay
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September 30, 2021 8:00 am

Personally I think it is more helpful to look at what has changed since the end of last season – to which I’d say . . . nothing?
I guess better big man depth (although too many big men).

I do think people are hyping Mitchell up too much for this season. I think it is unlikely he matches Delon Wright’s impact this season.

I’m just frustrated because the roster is totally imbalanced still and I’m not sure we upgraded in talent this off-season. We’re hoping for a lot of internal improvement.

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